Teaching is a very engaging profession. It’s one of the rare callings that enable people to touch and impact others' lives profoundly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, teachers' employment is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029. The majority of teachers in elementary and high schools hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees, 39.3% and 49.2%, respectively.
Teachers need to pursue a Master’s degree to focus on teaching & education majors if they want to become more competitive in the job market. However, with ever-increasing college tuition costs, it can be challenging for some people. Fortunately, various types of financial aid are tailored to help graduate students become teachers ranging from college grants to scholarships for teacher majors.
Below you can find everything you need to know about education scholarships and learn how to pay for your teaching degree.
Forms of Financial Aid for Education Students
Many students fall under the false impression that they are quite limited when it comes to the number of available financial aid opportunities. Before we dive into the specific programs designed to help students cover the tuition costs, let’s explore various forms of financial assistance available to education and teaching students:
- Scholarships: These are financial aid awards. They are tailored to help students pay for their degrees. Scholarships are given to prospective students. They usually go to students with a desired academic achievement.
- College grants: College grants provide additional opportunities to students to finance their education. The federal government is in charge of giving grants. Unlike loans, college grants often don’t have to be repaid.
- Programs: Students also have access to special programs. These count as highly specific financial assistance developed to help certain demographics or support people who have to work and study.
- Student loans: If you are familiar with credit cards, you will easily understand student loans. They are often part of a school’s financial aid offer. Most commonly, the lender is the U.S. Department of Education. The loan has to be repaid in full, including the interest that accrues meanwhile.
Now that we’ve covered various types of financial assistance let’s review some of the scholarships for teaching majors available to graduate students. You’ll notice that everyone for teacher majors comes with unique requirements. Pay close attention to the application deadline if you don’t want to miss your chance to apply.
The Most Sought After Teaching Scholarships
- PDK Educational Foundation Scholarship Program
PDK International supports teachers who become great educators through the PDK Educational Foundation. The foundation offers over 30 scholarships. The application is straightforward as students need to fill out just one application form.
To be eligible for this scholarship, graduate students need to be members of PDK Association, Pi Lambda Theta, and/or Educators Rising Collegiate.
Amount: One-time and renewable awards range from $500 to $5,000
- American Montessori Society Teacher Education Scholarships
If you are looking for specialized education and want to become a Montessori teacher, this scholarship is perfect for you. It is available to teachers who are already enrolled in an AMS-affiliated teacher education group or have recently been accepted or are in the process of being accepted.
The scholarship committee bases its final decision on several factors, including:
- Financial need
- Three original letters of recommendation
- Official verification of acceptance into an AMS-affiliated program
- Compelling personal statement
Amount: Varies (In 2020, 16 students were awarded a total of $20,000)
- STEM Teacher Scholarships
If you are a graduate student planning on teaching STEM subjects at a United States K-12 school, this teacher aid is best for this major. The STEM teacher graduate scholarship fund is made possible thanks to AFCEA International and ManTech.
This scholarship is only available to students with US citizenship living in the US. Graduate students must also be majoring in education to teach STEM subjects.
- The Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarship
Graduates students majoring in education can apply for the Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarship. It carries the names of three public school teachers in Michigan. They were fired for no reason after refusing to pay union dues. Applicants must submit an essay and take an interview with the Institute staff.
- Inspire Our Future Scholarship
Inspire Our Future is a years-old scholarship program made possible thanks to Teacher.org. Every year Teacher.org has a unique question for applicants. They have to answer it after completing the entry form. The answer has to be 500–700 words long.
The Best Teaching Scholarships for Minorities
Scholarships for teacher majors are also available to minorities. They are great financial assistance to people from marginalized communities. Here are some of the best aids in this category.
- American Council of the Blind Scholarship Program
The scholarship is the result of the partnership between the American Council of the Blind and the American Foundation of the Blind. All visually impaired or blind graduate students are eligible for this assistance. Besides, a candidate is expected to be:
- Legally blind or visually impaired
- A full-time student with a 3.0 GPA
- Involved in their community or school
- Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Gates Millennium Scholars Program is available to all graduate students of color. Applicants are allowed to request funding for a graduate program in education, public health, science, computer science, library science, mathematics, and engineering.
- Florida Fund for Minority Teachers Scholarship
Minority graduate students, including applicants from the following racial groups African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaskan Native, are eligible to apply for the scholarship. However, a graduate student has to be enrolled in a program that leads to teacher certification.
Deadline: July and November
- Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program
MTI scholarship program is financial assistance tailored to help graduate students fund their education. Applicants must be African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American, or of Native American origin.
- Earline S. Rogers Student Teaching Stipend for Minorities
Earline S. Rogers Student Teaching Stipend for Minorities scholarship is available to minority graduate students enrolled at an eligible Indiana institution. A candidate must be enrolled in a school administration program as a part of a graduate degree program to be eligible.
Deadline: September and January
Amount: up to $4,000
Great Teaching Scholarships for Special Education
There are also education scholarships tailored to promote special education. Here are the top teaching scholarships for special education.
- Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program
The SETTW program is available to graduate students in Illinois. It is reserved for graduate students studying special education. Applicants have to be Illinois residents and graduate students seeking initial licensure in any area of special education.
Amount: Four years of tuition
- AASEA Memorial Scholarships
AASEA scholarship is available to graduate students seeking special education for children in Arkansas. It is awarded each year.
Early Childhood Education Teaching Scholarships
If you are looking for childhood education financial assistance, the following scholarships can help you manage your finances.
- Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program
Graduate students enrolled in a master’s degree program in Early Childhood Education or related programs are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants have to be permanent legal residents of Massachusetts.
Amount: Up to $4,500
- Early Childhood Trainer Scholarship
Early Childhood Trainer Scholarship provides financial assistance to graduate students aiming to increase their Career Lattice Step. However, an applicant must be an Achieve Approved Trainer and accepted into a Child Development or Early Childhood Education degree program at an approved, accredited college or university in Minnesota.
- Bright Futures National Scholarships
Bright Futures National Scholarships is available to students seeking knowledge in early childhood education at the graduate level.
Amount: Up to $500
- Early Childhood Development Scholarship
Students earning a master’s degree in early childhood education at one of the Kentucky universities and colleges are eligible for the Early Childhood Development Scholarship.
Amount: Up to $1,800 per year
The Best Scholarships for Master of Education Students
If you hold a master’s degree, you are not only more competitive on the job market, but you will also earn a higher salary. If you need financial aid to achieve it, take into account the following scholarships.
The scholarship is reserved for Educators Rising Collegiate, Pi Lambda Theta, and/or PDK Association members.
Only students enrolled in the William & Mary's School of Education can apply.
The scholarship is available to graduate students who want to specialize in and teach scholastic journalism.
Scholarships for Non-Teaching Education Majors
If you want to pursue knowledge in non-teaching education majors and become qualified to perform in roles such as administrator, curriculum developer, or school counselor, the following scholarships can help.
- Leon Bradley Scholarship
The Leon Bradley Scholarship was designed as financial assistance for minorities or persons of color who plan to enter school leadership.
- Educational Administration Scholarship
EA scholarship is reserved for graduate students interested in excelling in school administration.
- Predoctoral Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Fellowship
The fellowship is funded by a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It’s a financial aid designed to help students seeking knowledge in behavioral health services and prevention.
Deadline: Currently closed
- E.J., Esther and Patricia Spomer Scholarship
The E.J., Esther, and Patricia Spomer Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for students majoring in Educational Administration and Counseling.
Other Ways to Pay for Education & Teaching Degrees
There are other ways to ensure financial stability while obtaining an education or teaching degree.
Student loans are intended to cover various educational expenses such as housing, tuition, supplies, and books. Loans are based on financial need, and students often opt to use federal student loans. However, since they need to be repaid, students need to have a plan. Thanks to the teachers' loan forgiveness program, students can have up to $17,500 in federal loan forgiven.
The U.S. federal government provides college grants to students nationwide. However, it calls for extensive research to identify the grants you can apply for. It’s best to do this research in advance to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines.
One of these grants is the TEACH grant of up to $4,000 per year. To qualify for the grant, you need to:
- Complete FAFSA form
- Be enrolled at an eligible school
- Meet academic standards requirements
Troops for Teachers Program
The Troops for Teachers Program was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and was designed to help veterans kickstart their careers as teachers.
Various financial aid programs are available to graduate students interested in pursuing knowledge in teaching education and non-teaching education majors. Each of the education scholarships for teacher majors comes with unique requirements, deadlines, and award amounts. It’s paramount that students do their research and choose the financial assistance option that suits them best.